Public Safety Director's Spotlight - 2014 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

Sales Tax Savings, Children's Film Festival, Free Outdoor Movies and Concerts, SerbFest, Back-to-School events and more!

July 31, 2014 | 6 min reading time


Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

If you have some back-to-school shopping to do, you might want to do it this weekend.  According to the Missouri Department of Revenue web site, the sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and will run through Sunday, Aug. 3.  Certain back-to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, computers, and other items as defined by state law, will be exempt from sales tax for this time period only in participating jurisdictions.  For more information about the sales tax holiday, visit the web site.

Upcoming Events

August 1-3 & August 8-10 – Second Annual St. Louis International Children's Film Festival, various locations, various times

The Second Annual St. Louis International Children's Film Festival will take place over the course of the next two weekends.  The festival will feature 19 films screened at venues that will include Webster University, St. Louis Art Museum, COCA, St. Louis Public Library's Central Library, Lindenwood University and Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, IL. Films are free to all attendees, both children and adults.  No tickets required; seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit the web site for a complete Festival schedule or call (314) 289-4153 for more information.

August 1 – First Fridays in Grand Center, 5 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of art, music, and culture in Grand Center the first Friday of every month.  DJs and musicians present music in dialogue with the exhibitions, museum staff lead tours, and the amenities at the Arts organizations throughout Grand Center are open the entire evening.  For a complete list of participating institutions, visit the web site.

August 1 – Outdoor Film Series, St. Louis Art Museum, 7 p.m.

Spend your Fridays on Art Hill in Forest Park at the St. Louis Art Museum Outdoor Film Series.  Music and festivities will begin at 7 p.m. and the movie will start at 9 p.m.  For a list of the films that will be shown and for more details, visit the web site.

August 2 – 2014 Back to School & Community Empowerment Festival, Chaifetz Arena, 9 a.m.

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. in partnership with the St. Louis Public Schools will hold its 2014 Back to School &Community Empowerment Festival this Saturday from 9 a.m. to Noon at Chaifetz Arena, 1 South Compton.  There will be free refreshments, resources, school supplies, senior services, health screenings, live entertainment and more.  Need more information?  Call (314) 345-2520 or visit the web site.

August 2 & 3 – Free Back-to-School Vision Screenings for Children, St. Louis Science Center, 9:30 a.m.

Saving Sight will offer free vision screenings for children at the St. Louis Science Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday.  No appointment is needed, just visit the Science Center at 5050 Oakland Avenue on the day of the event and take advantage of the free service.

August 2 & 3 –Serbian Festival, Holy Trinity Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church, 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to come enjoy live entertainment, great Serbian food and pastries at Serbfest 2014.  The festival will open at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday in the church hall at 1910 Serbian Drive.  Questions?  Call (314) 776-3262.

August 2 – Friends of Clifton Park Movie Night, 7 p.m.

Friends of Clifton Park will host its first Movie Night in the park (Columbia and Simpson) this Saturday.  Everyone is invited to spend a family-friendly evening under the stars.  Pre-movie fun will begin at 7 p.m.  Food trucks will have items available for sale.  The movie will begin at 8 p.m.

August 3 – The Wedding Show, America's Center, 11 a.m.

The largest wedding planning event in St. Louis – The Wedding Show – will take place this Sunday at America's Center, 701 Convention Plaza in exciting Downtown St. Louis.  The one-stop wedding shopping event will feature more than 80,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, a main stage fashion show, transportation displays, live music, prize vault, unique wedding products, free samples and more!  Cost is $8 at the door.  To learn more, visit the web site.

August 3 – Step Inside Historic St. Louis, Missouri History Museum, 1 p.m.

Your opportunity to Step Inside Historic St. Louis will take place this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Boulevard in fabulous Forest Park.  Step back in time and have your picture taken inside one of the Museum's historic photos of St. Louis.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, visit the web site.

Free Concerts

Invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you at one of the many neighborhood concert series this summer.

August 2 –Free Concert, Lafayette Park, 6 p.m.  Visit the website for more details.

August 3 -- Sunday Serenades in Francis Park, Donovan & Eichelberger, 7:30 p.m.  Visit for the full schedule.

August 3 -- Free Concert in Carondelet Park, Loughborough and Eugene, 5:30 p.m.  To learn more, visit

August 3 – Free Concert in Benton Park, Jefferson & Arsenal, 3 p.m.  Visit the web site for more information.

August 4 -- Musical Mondays in Tower Grove Park, S. Grand & Magnolia, 7:30 p.m.  Visit for more information.

Monday, August 4 – Free O'Fallon Park Jazz Concert Series, 4343 West Florissant, 6 p.m.

August 5 –National Night Out Celebrations

Neighborhoods throughout the City and across the nation will celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5.  Below is information about two of the many events planned for that evening:

· National Night Out BBQ Concert featuring Miss Jubilee

Skinker DeBaliviere's National Night Out festivities will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in Greg Freeman Four Corners Park, 6008 Kingsbury Avenue.  Miss Jubilee plays an exciting blend of authentic Hot Jazz, Swing, Rhythm &Blues and R'n'R spanning the 1920s –1950s.  The famous Skinker DeBaliviere BBQ and beverages will be available for sale.  The event is free and fun for the whole family.

· National Night Out at the Pool 2014

National Night Out with JUMP N2 Shape will take place from 4 –7 p.m. at O'Fallon Park Recreation Center.  Come for free swimming, tasty food, and lots of fun.  All are welcome.

August 8 –Trivia Night, IBEW Local #1 Union Hall, 6 p.m.

The St. Louis African American History and Genealogy Society and The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation will hold a Trivia Night on Friday, Aug. 8 at the IBEW Local #1 Union Hall, 5850 Elizabeth (off Hampton).  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and Trivia will begin at 7 p.m.  The Master of Ceremonies will be Dan Dillon, author of "So, Where'd You Go to High School?"  Cost is $25 per person or $200 for a table of 8.  Prepaid tables by August 1 will receive five free mulligans.  Attendees must be at least 21 years old.  Walk-ins welcome.  For more information or to reserve a table, call Sarah at (314) 330-5715 or visit web site.

Save the Date

August 8 – Professional Diversity Career Fair, Hilton at the Ball Park Hotel, 11 a.m.

August 8 – Food Truck Friday, Tower Grove Park, 4 p.m.

August 9 – 51st Annual Moonlight Ramble, Busch Stadium, 11:30 p.m.

August 9 – Summer 2014 Soulard Concert Series, Farmer's Market Plaza, 6 p.m.

August 9 – 2014 St. Louis Metropolitan Area Amnesty Project, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 7 a.m.

August 9 – Neighborhood Beautification event, starts at Walbridge School, 9 a.m.

August 11 – First Day of School for St. Louis Public Schools

August 11 through August 17 – 10th Annual Downtown Restaurant Week, various locations, 5 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Blooming Soon!  Flower Sale

Brightside St. Louis' annual Blooming Soon! flower sale is taking place now until Saturday, Sept. 20.  Proceeds raised through the sale help support Brightside's cleaning and greening initiatives.  Sale items include:

  • 50 Daffodil bulbs = $16
  • 50 Tulip bulbs = $16
  • 12 "Purple Sensation" Allium bulbs = $9
  • 12 "Stella d'Oro Daylily plants = $20

Order online at or call (314) 772-4646 for more ordering options.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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